What’s your story?
Hi, we’re David & Fernando, co-founders of CARIUMA. Long story short, after working together for a few years and bonding over our mutual love of boardsports (surfing, skateboarding & snowboarding) & our home country Brazil, we decided to join forces to start Cariuma. We left our corporate jobs with a shared idea to build a company that would better serve people and the planet.
What is your “why”?
We knew the industry-standard “cool-classic” sneakers were really uncomfortable and that the big corporations weren’t socially responsible and didn’t really care about sustainability in an active way. We also felt we had a duty to take a stance against the wasteful practices inherent in fast fashion. It was vital for us to reinvent the sneaker game.
That’s why our sneakers are good-looking, crazy comfy, and consciously made. We knew we wanted to make future classics with an increased lifespan that evolve with you and your sense of style.
What’s your flagship product?
When we launched our bamboo sneaker, IBI, it had a 14K-person waitlist. It’s a crowd-pleaser because it’s carbon neutral and vegan, but it’s still stylish, crazy comfortable, and lightweight. Our bestseller, the OCA Low, is available in a variety of bold and neutral colors, they’re made with natural premium materials like organic cotton canvas and durable suede and each pair comes with our signature vegan memory-foam insoles.
Who’s your ideal customer?
No matter how you identify – if you’re fashionable and you’re conscious, you’re one of us. We attract people that typically live life in their sneakers. But also, people in the design world and art communities love them for their innovative, earth-friendly qualities, and commuters on the go/ travel aficionados due to the fact that they are so darn comfy/ versatile. They’re basically the quintessential everyday shoe.
Why does sustainability matter?
Creating a safe space to come to work every day is vital to our success. The mental, emotional, and physical health and well-being of our workers is our top priority. We put people at the center of everything we do. Without our dedicated team of craftsmen & women, we would be nothing.
Fast fashion isn’t sustainable or ethical. For us, longevity and mindful consumption is the name of the game. The only true way to achieve authentic sustainability is by increasing the lifespan of our products. This way, the consumer gets quality over quantity and consumes fewer, superior products – which is better for the collective and the environment.
Do you contribute to your local community?
We have an in-house Reforestation Program – for every pair of sneakers sold, we plant a pair of trees. This initiative was important to us because it allows the brand to directly aid reforestation and protect endangered species’ natural habitats in the Brazilian rainforest. We also donate our gently-worn and returned sneakers (including sample styles) to Soles4Souls – a 301c nonprofit organization that provides footwear to underserved communities.